I’m not a very enthusiastic cat person, because fundamentally, I don’t understand them, something, oddly, that cat owners cherish about their pets.
Mirabeau came into our lives after a brush with death sparked by Tommy’s basic hatred of all living things that are not our family. At the beginning, Mirabeau was Mirabelle. Then one day, his protruding gonads brought home the obvious error of our gender identification, and the name was conveniently altered, sex-changing him effortlessly from a gorgeously yellow plump cherry (mirabelle) the color of his golden eyes, to a stuffy French revolutionary with a long name.
But still, Mirabeau is a great name for a cat.
And he is a pretty great cat. He has two lives: during the day, he is the school cat, sinuously walking in between the legs of the staff and sitting in their chairs if left–even briefly–unoccupied and grooming himself, cool as a cucumber. The day is when Tommy is contained inside the house, which is inside the school. Mirabeau’s second life begins as soon as Tommy is freed, after the schoolday is over, the kids are gone and the classrooms cleaned. At that precise moment, he hops onto the many roofs of the school, where he roams until morning.
When we feed him, I have to lob the chicken, fish or beef in a graceful arc onto the tin roof so he can eat safely. I often miss. It’s a hard skill to hone.